Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Flea Market Find: 1940's Radio

When I introduced my lovely long awaited couch last week, I also gave you a peek at my flea market steal of the century: a PhilCo Radio from 1941.
I picked this beauty up the Spoon River Drive flea market in October. I saw it, I loved it. I was with my favorite flea market partner---my mom. 
Philco Radio Model 41-287x
We played the guess that price game.
My mom covered the price tag and told me to guess. Realizing that everything in this booth was already reasonably priced...

Me: 75 bucks.
Mom: Too high.
Me: 50? 40?
Mom: Lower...
Me: Oh let me see!!

$15. It was only $15 dollars. I wanted it when I thought it was $75, but for $15 dollars how could I pass this up? 
I had seen people on the internets rip out the old insides that didn’t work in these dated radios and install devices to play their ipods through the old speakers. How fun right? I thought it would be good project to try this winter. For 15 bucks what the heck!

So, I walked over to the dealer and bought that radio. I paid, the dealer and I walked over to carry it to my car--and someone else was looking at it...
He told the man it was sold. 
I smiled. 
The man glared at me. Cranky man then told the dealer he would have paid him 3 times what I paid him.
Me: “Sorry, I bought it.” I got another crabby-pants stare.

I knew I had gotten a deal. He knew I had gotten a deal. He was unhappy. I was extra happy.

Oh, and when the dealer was helping me load it into my car, he told me it still turned on! Now I was thrilled!
all original knobs and dials.
I was able to do a little research after we found the model number. It's a Philco Rado Model 41-287x.
Made in 1941 and sold originally for $85 bucks. They made about 8,000 of this model. Philco is now a brand of Philips.
I did some googling and some Ebay searching and found this model listed a few times...every time they even turn on--and were listed for several hundred bucks. Several hundred. 

Unfortunately, we haven’t had time to really fiddle with it enough to figure out why it isn’t playing music. We don’t really know much, (actually anything) about old radios. We are afraid to mess with it too much. I'm on the hunt to find someone that still works on them, who might be able to take a look and turn it into shipshopshape and make it play music again. I think it’s worth paying a few bucks to get it working, when it seems there are few out there in this condition…and the ones that are, are not selling for 15 dollars…


  1. Awesome! And a great deal... I do not have such luck at flea markets

    1. My mom has a special flea market tote bag. It brings all the deals to us.

  2. I love it! Great score for the young chick! lol It looks perfect in your house. Next time you and your mom go flea marketing if you notice a blond lady in the backseat, that'll be me. :-)

    1. See how my mind works? I read: cranky old man in the description. Then after leaving my comment I see you just said cranky. In my scenario, young chick wins out against the old cranky guy. :-)

  3. How fun! I love it. I'm not as nice as you, thought. I would totally gut it and figure out how to use it for storage.

    1. haha well i think sometime it will move to the basement when that is finished. otherwise yes, it basically just takes up space right now!

  4. Awesome! I can't believe it was only $15!!! So cool!!
    ~Kelly @ Corner of Main

  5. What an awesome piece! And at such a steal! My friends have an old record player/radio that was rewired to use with iPods, its still really cool to see it working in their house!

  6. That. Is. Awesome! And too bad Mr. Crabby Pants! Don't you love when they think you did something personal to them by getting there first?


  7. omg *drool* you have the best finds ever!


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